As the cooler months set in, it’s essential to adjust your safety and well-being measures, especially when it comes to babies and small children. First Steps Safe Steps has compiled a list of top tips to keep your home and surroundings baby-safe throughout the winter season.
Tip 1: Correct Heater Placement:
With heaters in high demand during winter, correct usage, placement, and supervision are vital. Ensure your heater is placed flat on the floor and away from any furniture, curtains, bedding, or combustible materials. Moreover, it’s crucial to keep children at a safe distance from the heater’s hot surfaces. Large gates can be placed around heaters, acting as a deterrent and preventing young ones from accidentally touching and sustaining burn injuries.
Tip 2: Safe Fireplace Use:
Fireplaces add warmth and charm to winter days, but before you light up, make sure the chimney is clean and properly ventilated to avoid respiratory issues. Be cautious with wood and gas fireplaces, as they pose a potential risk of burns. A larger baby gate around the fireplace will discourage children from getting too close and touching the hot surfaces.
Tip 3: Appropriate Clothing for Car Travel:
When placing a child in a car seat during winter, remove thick or puffy clothing. Excessive material between the child and the seat belt can lead to a loose restraint, putting your child at risk of injury in case of an accident. Consider using a blanket on top of the child and removing it once the car is heated, or pre-warm the car before placing the child inside.
Tip 4: Cautious Use of Hot Water Bottles:
Hot water bottles can be hazardous for burns, especially for children under 4 years old. Avoid letting young children hold or play with hot water bottles, and never place them next to babies while they sleep, as it can cause overheating and increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Tip 5: Supervise and Contain Hot Drinks and Liquids:
A freshly poured hot drink can cause instant burns in children. Burns and scalds are significant causes of injury in children from newborns to 14 years old. Keep hot drinks away from table edges, and whenever possible, use cups or containers with lids to prevent accidental spills.
Tip 6: Inspect/Install Smoke Alarms:
During winter, households rely more on heaters and appliances for warmth, increasing the risk of fire related incidents. Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of fatalities in a house fire by half. Ensure your smoke alarms are functioning correctly, replace batteries annually, and change smoke alarms every 10 years.
By following these safety tips, you can create a secure and warm environment for your family during the winter months. Stay vigilant, and prioritise the wellbeing of your little ones to enjoy a safe and cozy winter season.